"Carr-pree"

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Get it right, it’s not pronounced “Capree” but “Carr-pree”. Silly aussie touristico’s!
The island of movie stars beckoned on the brochure when we had stood in the Jolly booking office. Velentina was doing her best to deal with our scooter bookings and then our tour director, Mike thought he’d kill two birds with one stone. She advised that although we could just take the standard ferry over and wander around the island, for 4 euro more, we could catch a local ferry that would take us around the island and show us the blue and green grotto. Bet had been very excited about the prospect of showing us all one of her favourite things.

Today was Capri day. The arrangement had been for us to meet at the Jolley office. We would then be bussed to the Marina. We couldn’t understand the need for this as it wasn’t that far to walk to the port. We arrived on time, grabbed panini and fruit, then waited for the bus. No bus but it was announced that we should all jump into a gaggle of waiting vehicles. “Where’s Darren?” I heard as the others called me over to a vehicle. It was a white Fiat 500. I had been fascinated by them since arrival. Jeanti had always loved them and we had been taking photos of them to show her. The gang thought it only fitting that a ride in one was on offer, I should take it. Thanks guys.

What a hoot. Johnny, the owner, has had the car since 1969. It was a 1967 model. They’re tiny and austere but they go. There is heaps of room (if you’re my size) in the front but poor old Denise was squished in the back. Johnny was imensley proud of his car and showed us the original papers etc. He pulled the cloth roof back and artistically wove the car along the narrow, traffic clogged roads. It turns out that the port we were going to was in the next town, not Sorrento. Why we couldn’t fathom. I didn’t care. I was riding in a Fiat 500.
We alighted at the Marina and apparently my grin was bigger than the Fiat. The others alighted from a range of more modern Alfa’s and Fiats.

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The ferry ride across was pleasant and the island was closer than I realised. It was our first day that hadn’t started out warm and sunny. Capri is steep and rises sharply out of the turquoise water that surrounds it. Near the cliffs, it is 350m deep and quickly falls away to over 1000m. Don’t drop anything over the side!

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The boat pulls up at the base of a cliff with a small rowboat convention being held at the base. In a nearby larger boat with an awning sit three old men with clipboards. The idea is that anyone who wants to visit the blue grotto must disembark to a rowboat. You’re taken over to the larger boat where you pay your 10.5 euro. The boats are small and you must sit on the bottom. The reason soon becomes apparent as we are skulled by our cheerful oarsman to the entrance. It is tiny. There is a chain that runs from the beginning of the entrance, into the grotto. We approach and he checks no one is coming out and that the swell is on the rise. As it falls, he heaves on the chain and flattens himself in the boat. We skim through with only cm to spare and are immediately plunged into darkness. the sounds echo and their are other boats in the grotto. Slowly your eyes adjust and you notice the water glowing as the sunlight pours through the opening you just came through. We visited in the morning and whilst it was impressive, to get the best from the grotto, you need to see it on a sunny afternoon reported Bet. Back onboard our ferry, we progressed around the scenic island to the green grotto. It is large enough for the ferry to motor into it and here the sunlight produces, you guessed it, a green hue.

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We finally alighted at the piccilo marina and were presented by a cute rocky inlet with a pebble beach. The houses and shops formed a continues mass of buildings that crept up the hill to main village. Village doesn’t do it justice as it is home to some of the most exclusive boutique shops you’ll find anywhere. Capri was once the home of farmers and fishermen, hardy ones at that. These days, the local sport is playing who owns the luxury yacht that just pulled into the harbour?

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After some food and wandering around, we all agreed to meet back at the marina to catch the ferry. As we were early, Jet, Sue and I hit the beach. Jet and I looked at each other and couldn’t get our kit off quick enough. It was stinking hot and we were sick of just looking at the water. Pebbles crunching under foot, we hit the clear blue water. A local cautioned us about the jelly fish that sting. Yeah right, we’re from Oz. We have real stinging jelly fish that’ll kill you. We’re not afraid.

We hit the water and it was magnificent. I found a jelly fish too. It wrapped itself around my waist and then continued to sting my hand as I pushed it away. It didn’t kill me but certainly made life a little uncomfortable for a while.

We left the legendary isle of Capri and passed the latest visitor aboard the super yacht ‘Octopus’. One of the Microsoft execs or something. Gave them a waive as we motored away.

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